A Tiny Blue Dove; A Heart Full of Love

April 2023

If we are really fortunate in our lives, we will find that person who’s the other half of us – that person who makes us laugh, shares our joys, and becomes our forever love. Len and Colleen Bickford found that kind of love.

“Everyone used to ask me how I got so lucky,” says Len. “I always told everyone that I ‘married up.’” Len and Colleen and their son David, along with their “rag doll” cat, Red Barron, made a wonderful life in Kingsville.

Approaching their 44th anniversary in July, 2023, Len and Colleen were both looking forward to retirement, and settling into that part of their lives…when Colleen was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

“It all happened so fast,” says Len. “She was admitted to hospital on February 8th and then was moved to the Hospice in Erie Shores on February 13th. I had no idea at that time that we would say our final goodbye just 11 days later, on February 24th.”

Len is like so many, although he knew about Hospice, until he began the journey with Colleen, he had never experienced the full concept of The Hospice Way. “I am so grateful for everything that Hospice provided for us, and I know that my family feels the same way. We will always offer our support to Hospice, to try and give back.”

And, Len is a man of his word! Not only have Len and his family ordered two leaves for the Tree of Remembrance at the Erie Shores Campus, Len is also working toward his goal of raising $500.00 for the upcoming Run and Roll in Leamington, and Len’s former employer, the Essex Home Hardware Building Centre, has stepped up to host a family barbecue day, with all proceeds supporting the Erie Shores Hospice.

But, the event that has perhaps become most special to Len – the upcoming Hospice Dove Pin Campaign, taking place this April 28/29/30.

“I was so happy to see that Hospice will be offering the Hospice Doves all over Windsor and Essex County. I signed up to be the guy at Cindy’s Home & Garden in Kingsville. That was one of Colleen’s favourite spots, so I know she’s happy that I will be there the WHOLE weekend!”

That small blue Hospice Dove Pin seems to represent Len’s newfound passion for Hospice. “I consider Hospice part of my family as well,” he says.

It is Len’s greatest hope, and his new mission, to be an ambassador for our Hospice. “If I could help just one person by sharing my story about Hospice, it would mean everything!”

You are, Len, and we are so grateful and honoured to welcome you and your family into our Hospice Family.